05 April 2020,   06:53
Presidential Elections and Ia Kerzaia"s Case - European Parliament Speaks About Alarming Situation in Georgia

Two critical and acute letters from Brussels, which have two addresses - The addresses of the letters from the European Parliament are Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia and Federica Mogherini Eleven influential European Parliamentarians will appeal to the EU High Representative for Foreign Relations to hold a dialogue with the Georgian government in order to move the country to the proportional electoral system in 2020 instead of 2024.

Violations revealed in the 2018 presidential election and Ia Kerzaia"s case are mentioned in a letter as well.

" The report released by the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, of which the delegation of the European Parliament was part, produced one of the most critical assessments since 1991. In the report issued following the elections, key and specific concerns were identified such as the largescale of vote buying, the fear of retribution due to electoral choices as well as pressure and
intimidation of public employees. Moreover, ISFED (International Society for Fair Elections and
Democracy), a Tbilisi-based election watchdog, referred to the cases intimidation and harassment in the context of the election, in particular the case of political pressure on the school principal of Zugdidi’s Public School No 6 Mrs. Ia Kerzaia days before she suffered a stroke, which eventually resulted in her death.
Both reports ring an alarm bells for us, Members of the European Parliament and friends of Georgia, wishing this European country to continue on the way and path of reforms so that it can
fulfill its commitments under the Association Agreement with the European Union.
In fact, political stability and ensuring a civilised political contestation, particularly in light of the
forthcoming 2020 parliamentary elections, are of great importance. Most credible interlocutors
and organisations, namely the Venice Commission, and Georgia’s credible watchdogs and nongovernmental
organizations, such as ISFED, have long identified Georgia’s mixed election system
prone to produce supermajorities as a major systemic problem. The decision of the current
government to delay in enacting the fully proportional election system from 2020 to 2024 received
much criticism from all these stakeholders, in particular the civil society. Following the presidential
elections, virtually all of Georgia’s opposition political parties and credible civil society have called upon the Government to engage in dialogue over achieving a compromise on the election system already for 2020.
It is our belief that such a dialogue on this subject, and an eventual compromise, would inevitably reduce the extreme polarization in Georgia,"- the letter reads.